Why VoIP Security is So Important
Cost-effective, scalable, and easy to use, Voice Over IP or VOIP has modernized the way people communicate with each other. With this technology, analog audio signals are converted into digital ones and transmitted via the internet. However, like any other virtual data, these are vulnerable to cyber attacks. This is why VOIP security should not be taken lightly.
Security threats, like technology, get more sophisticated over time. Attackers find new ways to get into a network and steal or use data maliciously. This does not only compromise critical business and customer information, it can also significantly affect your reputation and is often costly to resolve. According to an IBM report, the US tallied an $8.1 million worth of data breach in 2019 alone.
Hence, businesses across several industries, big or small, should be concerned about protecting data they transfer online, including secure voice calls over IP. Here are some of the most common threats that jeopardize the security of a VOIP network.
Denial of Service. A common VOIP security threat, DoS refers to an occurrence when attackers bombard a network with too many calls (usually coming from an automatic phone dialer), clogging phone lines, decreasing call quality, and prompting businesses to slow down or temporarily halt their operations.
Eavesdropping. Cybercriminals can tap into unencrypted calls, “eavesdrop,” and intercept sensitive data ranging from passwords to names and banking details of customers.
Malware. As stated, VOIP calls are hosted over a data network. And one of the most common ways in which attackers can infiltrate a network is by spreading malware including viruses, Trojans, and bots.
Spam and phishing. There are cyberattackers who use restricted or private caller IDs to scam customers. Through phone scam schemes, they can prey on users and deceive them to disclose sensitive data.
How Can Businesses Make Their VOIP Network More Secure
With threats that range from simple to sophisticated, businesses have that responsibility to strengthen their VOIP security. Here’s how:
Tap an accredited VOIP provider. First off, you must outsource your VOIP capabilities to a trusted provider. Your communication systems provider in PA must be accredited, responsive, and have a roster of professionals who are trained and capable of addressing different security incidents.
Make sure data is encrypted. To secure voice calls over IP, you must employ VOIP protocols (i.e., Transport Layer Security, Secure Real-time Transport Protocol) to encrypt your data — meaning, network outsiders won’t be able to read the data you’re transmitting.
Install a firewall program. Setting up a firewall adds another layer of security between your server and the outside network. As much as possible, use advanced ones because these are capable of detecting and blocking malicious data packets.
Use secure passwords. To prevent unauthorized personnel from getting access to your network, use strong passwords and store them securely (advise your employees not to copy-paste passwords in text files, or write them down in their sticky notes).
Monitor and address any unusual activity. One benefit of VOIP over traditional telephony is easier monitoring of call logs. Take advantage of it and always be wary of any unusual behavior or activity. Report any ghost calls or suspicious voicemails to your provider so that they can address them immediately.